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9 West Valley View, Avondale, Arizona, Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Musical is hair-raising good time

Desert Edge performs Hairspray this week will explode like a canon.

by Emily McCann staff writer

Aerosol is in the air at Desert Edge High School as the theater department, Cutting Edge, prepares to perform its spring musical, Hairspray. The show will run at 7 p.m. Wednesday

and Thursday and 2 p.m. Saturday in the auditorium, 15778 W. Yuma Road in Goodyear. Hairspray is set in 1962 in Baltimore and focuses on teenager Tracy Turnblad, whose dream is to dance on “The Corny Collins Show,” a local television dance program. “Tracy is a girl-next-door and she has

Tracy becomes an overnight sensation and launches a campaign to integrate the show.

“The musical is diverse and takes on a big topic with racism, but it’s in a fun way,” junior Richard Whitehead, 17, said. “If you don’t laugh while watching the play, then we’ve done a terrible job.”

Large-scale production This is the biggest show the school has

ever done, with 55 cast members and 27 additional students on the crew, theater teacher Fran Rosaly said.

“It has wigs, hairspray and all kinds of craziness,” she said. Tickets are priced on where you prefer

to sit. The front four rows are considered premium seating and cost $10 each. The back two rows are $5 and everything in between is $8.

The students designed the set, which includes a 12-foot can of hairspray that

Purchasing the premium seating puts you right in the action, including a dance party in the aisles.

After she does actually win a part,

“He answers the phone and the guy said, ‘You guys doing Hairspray? My daughter did that and we donated one to them, too,’” she said. “It’s cool to see the kind of outreach we’ve had. I can’t believe the help we’ve gotten; it’s a big community builder.” Griffith’s father, Robert, has also

to be famous, but she’s a bigger girl so she really doesn’t have any chance,” said senior Katie Griffith, 18, who plays the lead role.

The giant prop is made from a forming tube used in freeway construction. When none of the local distributors would give them one, a student called the president of a company in North Carolina and got it donated, Rosaly said.

been working on fixing problems in the auditorium, such as sound, Rosaly said. “This man has been incredible,” she said. “It’s starting to sound like Gammage in here.”

Plucked from the halls Even though the cast is so large, Rosaly

didn’t have any problems finding actors, she said. “A lot of times I’m just walking down

the hallway and I hear somebody singing and say, ‘Hey, you want to try out for a musical?’” she said. “We’ve got kids who have never been in

theater, who are now in this show and are loving it. We have a head cheerleader and one of the top basketball players in the show. Just kids from all walks of life; kind of like Glee.” The musical even includes younger children for one of the musical numbers. “I really want to make this a central focus for community theater in Goodyear,” Rosaly said. Sophomore Dylan Taylor, 16, knows what it’s like to grow up being in theater since he’s been acting for about six years, following in his older brothers’ footsteps. “I was kind of nursed into that world,”

View photo by Ray Thomas

DESERT EDGE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS Katie Griffith, left, Nichole Soyka and Dylan Taylor run through their performance during the rehearsal of Hairspray April 11. The show begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 2 p.m. Saturday at the school, 15778 W. Yuma Road in Goodyear.

he said. “It’s pretty fun acting as other people on stage. It really is addicting.” Dylan plays Edna Turnblad, Tracy’s

mother. “She’s kind of the uptight mom who

doesn’t want her daughter to grow up; kind of like the everyday mom you see,” he said.

manscaping” — shaving his arms, legs and facial hair, Dylan said. The ladies in the show have given him tips though, like watch out for the backs of the legs and try not to cut yourself, he said.

One of the things that goes along with playing a woman is having to do “full on

Emily McCann can be reached by email at or on Twitter @NewsbyEmily.

W.V. students attend TV

Convention in Dallas The broadcast programs from Desert Edge and Verrado high schools sent students to the Student Television Network National Convention in Dallas last month.

Rasmussen, received an honorable mention award for their submission of the Convention Recap piece.

Local elem. schools get

Students competed in a team competition called the Sweet 16, where they had 16 hours to complete a 16-minute broadcast or film that revolves around a given topic.

Desert Edge and Verrado were given the title “The Magic Lasso” and were given a rope to be used as a prop. Verrado also competed in the broadcast side of the competition and was given the topic “Progressive.”

individual competitions ranging from music video, news feature story, movie trailer and silent film. Two of the Verrado contestants, junior Alejandro Castro and senior Shane

The students also competed in

donations from church Christ’s Church of the Valley’s Neighborhood Group members delivered more than 15,000 boxes of facial tissues, 6,000 packages of wet wipes and 36,000 reams of copy paper to about 300 public elementary schools throughout the Valley as part of the church’s “Operation: Support Our Schools” community initiative. After discovering there was a need for paper products in Valley schools, CCV Neighborhood Group members began organizing the program in February. The donated items will help about 11,000 teachers and 300,000 pupils across the Valley. Districts receiving the items included Arlington, Avondale, Buckeye, Liberty, Litchfield, Palo Verde and Pendergast.

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